from the four initial raised beds, was designed to produce the maximum output for minimum input. The results, harvested in April, were gratifying: 40 pounds of spring onions, 30 pounds of radishes and 15 pounds of beets, along with bunches and bunches of herbs. The next round of planting, which would make any gardener proud, included blossom-festooned zucchini, towering tomatoes, running green beans and peppers, chives, green onions, vibrant eggplants and cucumbers, with dainty bunches of cilantro and garlic chives (good for pest reduction) nestled in between. It occurred to me that I should take one of their classes to seriously brush up on my gardening techniques. Caroline, Katie and Alex all spoke about the workshops, both for gardening and on food nutrition, that they offer to the Isla Vista community. As more of the raised beds are built (the goal is to have 10 finished and planted by July) food production from the farm will increase fresh food deliveries to the UCSB Food Bank. Caroline and the DPW team have been planting vegetables that are culturally appropriate to the diverse student population at UCSB and that are easy to prepare. Once all the Edible Campus projects—the citrus trees, the vertical gardens and the farm— are in full production, the goal is to double the amount of fresh produce distributed annually by the AS Food Bank, adding 12,000–17,000 pounds of freshly picked, organic food to the students’ tables. “Food pantries traditionally rely on leftover produce, often gathered from grocery stores right before food gets tossed out. This leaves students with limited options, since they have to quickly consume that produce. What we’ll be able to do is provide freshly picked fruits and vegetables, where we can pick those items that same morning and bring them to the food bank the next day,” said Katie. The thousands of students who use the food banks will soon have more varied, fresh food choices. As Margot, a sophomore studying hydrology who was volunteering the day I visited and who uses the AS Food Bank, told me, “I like knowing where my food comes from. This is a great way to get fresh food!” As the tools were put away at the end of the day, it was evident that growing, preparing and sharing food is a universal community builder. The look of satisfaction on everyone’s face was evident. As I walked toward my car, the sun setting in the west, I looked at the plants and imagined what I would make with them if I were harvesting that beautiful crop.
Resources For additional questions or giving opportunities, please contact Katie Maynard 805 448-5111. Visit: https://giving.ucsb.edu/Funds/Give?id=312 http://www.sustainability.ucsb.edu/campus-farm/ Pascale Beale grew up in England and France surrounded by a family that has always been passionate about food, wine and the arts. She was taught to cook by her French mother and grandmother. She is the author of The Menu for All Seasons, Salade, Les Fruits and Les Legumes. Visit her website and blog: The Market Table at PascalesKitchen.com.
62 | EDIBLE SANTA BARBARA SUMMER 2019
Celebrating the local food & wine culture of Santa Barbara County